I’m down to the 15 hour mark right now, and am just enjoying a beer in my Vancouver hotel room prior to heading out and meeting up with a few friends for dinner.

I went out yesterday and bought a few more things to take along on the trip, so I wanted to highlight those here.

Marmot Jacket

I originally went to MEC in Vancouver to buy a nice jacket for my trip. I was looking for something really light that I could possibly wear in the evenings, and also something to add a bit of warmth if I’m in Europe later next year. I found the perfect jacket at MEC, but they unfortunately didn’t have the right size for me. So, I was forced to leave empty handed.

I walked across the street to Europe Bound, and found a fairly similar Marmot Sharp Point Softshell Jacket. The one at MEC was actually grey, which I thought was a good colour to travel with, but unfortunately the Marmot one was black. On the plus side though, the jacket was marked down 50%, and only cost $100. Given that I was in a bit of time crunch and it was on sale, I decided to get it, since it was fairly close to what I was looking for.

I’m pretty happy with the purchase, and it’s definitely a better quality than the little fleece jacket I came to Vancouver with. So I passed on my other jacket to my friend to take back to Chilliwack for me, and will be taking the Marmot jacket with me on the trip.

Leatherman Juice CS4

I’ve never been a big fan of Swiss army knives or Leathermans, mainly because I never seem to find a use for them. But, given that I don’t have any tools with me in any of my bags, a friend suggested that a multipurpose tool might be a good item to bring along on a travel adventure. Since I was in the mood to spend some money, he didn’t have to twist my arm very far to get me to buy one.

The one I ended up settling on was the Leatherman Juice CS4 Pocket Multi-Tool in a Glacier Blue colour.

From the Leatherman website:

The Leatherman Juice Cs4 is our second largest Juice model, and just like its bigger brother, it’s the perfect size for a purse, pocket, glove- or tackle-box. Smaller hands will appreciate all the same power and features as our full-size model, with handles sculpted just for them. The colorful Juice Cs4 might just make the “junk” drawer into the “I-don’t-need-anything-but-my-Leatherman-in-here” drawer.

It’s smaller than the typical multipurpose tool, which I quite like since it will fit into my pocket easily. Also, it has a corkscrew, which many of the other tools didn’t have. Since I’m heading into the heart of wine country, I thought that would be a good tool to have. It also came in a really cool blue anodized aluminum colour.

Garmont Montello II Light Trail Shoes

Shoes are always a pain to take with you when you travel. Not only do they take up a ton of room in a suitcase or bag, but many shoes simply don’t look good with shorts (or for the women, dresses or skirts). I came to Vancouver with a pair of leather Clarks (which look great with jeans, but would make me look like some beer drinking lumberjack if I were to attempt to wear them with shorts), a pair of running shoes (I’d rather not have these, but running in sandals or hiking shoes is just asking for a really bad injury), and a pair of sandals. While I love the Clarks for when I’m in jeans, they really aren’t a very versatile shoe, especially in a warm destination.

A few months ago I was down at MEC and noticed that they had some hiking/trail shoes that looked a lot like a casual shoe. They were a bit pricey, but they seemed like the perfect solution to my little dilemma.

So yesterday I walked into MEC, and eventually settled on the Garmont Montello II Light Trail Shoes, which not only have a great hiking/trail sole, but look like a typical pair of casual shoes. I didn’t have a pair of shorts on me at the time, but the colour and the style I think will work well with a pair of shorts in a pinch, and also look pretty stylish with jeans as well.

I sent the Clarks home with my friend yesterday, and am traveling with the Garmon shoes, a pair of sandals, and a pair of running shoes as well (for whatever athletic things I get myself into).

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